An A-star grammar school student who became a Satanist neo-Nazi and encouraged terrorism has today been spared jail.
Harry Vaughan has been sentenced at the Old Bailey to two years’ detention suspended for two years for a series of terror offences.
He pleaded guilty to a string of offences including encouragement of terrorism, disseminating a terrorist publication and making an indecent photograph of a child.
The 18-year-old had been ‘considered a focused and able’ student at Tiffin Grammar – a top boys’ school in Kingston-upon-Thames, south-west London.
Over the summer, the teenager achieved A-star grades in maths, further maths, physics and history.
But Vaughan made a poster saying: ‘It’s okay to be a Nazi’ after disappearing down ‘the rabbit hole of the internet.’
He also shared bomb-making manuals online while storing white supremacist and satanic material on a memory stick.
Vaughan was arrested at his family home on June 19 last year in a counter-terror probe into Fascist Forge – an online forum used by extreme right-wing militants.
Harry Vaughan, 18, (pictured) was arrested by police during a probe into a website named Fascist Forge, which calls itself a ‘home for the 21st century fascist’
Court documents revealed there was also content linked to an American neo-Fascist book called Siege and neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and Satanic material. Some of it was found on a USB stick carrying the logo of Tiffin School, the grammar Vaughan had attended in Kingston, south-west London (picture: Vaughan’s bedroom)
Counter terrorism police raided the A-star pupil’s home in Twickenham where they found 4,200 images and 302 files on his devices.
The search came as part of a probe into Fascist Forge – a far-right militant group known to groom teenagers into white supremacism.
They included graphics encouraging terrorism in the name of Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD), the banned UK chapter of an international neo-Nazi network.
Vaughan was hauled out of his bedroom after officers seized his laptop and Sony mobile phone.
He provided the PIN and specialist officers found a catalogue of ‘artworks’ which he had collected between the ages of 16 and 17, the Old Bailey heard.
One of the posters Vaughan collected said: ‘It is okay to be a school shooter’ and he searched Google maps for schools located near his home.
In March 2018 he created a post which read: ‘Muslims beware, generation revenge, Islam free zone’ and applied to join the System Resistance Network – an alias of the banned neo-Nazi group National Action.
He described himself as a 5ft 7in 16-year-old from south-west London and wrote: ‘I could handle myself in a fight. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to further the cause.’
Vaughan was supported in court by his father Jake Vaughan, understood to be a director of corporate services at the House of Lords.
He earlier admitted encouraging terrorism, disseminating terrorist material, 12 of possessing terrorist documents and two of making indecent images of a child.
Naeem Mian QC, defending, said Vaughan was ‘articulate and intelligent’ and a ‘distinguished’ cellist who has since been diagnosed with high-functioning autism.
Digital forensic specialists retrieved 4,200 images and 302 files, including an extreme right-wing terrorist book (pictured: Vaughan’s bedroom)
When Vaughan was arrested last June he was studying for A-levels in maths and computer science at Tiffin School, Kingston, (pictured) where he was said to be among the best performing pupils
The defence barrister said the teenager may have been groomed.
Mr Mian said: ‘The more appropriate word would be ‘exposed to’ over a protracted period of time, and that’s undoubtedly resulted in where is now and undoubtedly resulted in him going down different warrens in this rabbit hole that he’s disappeared down.’
The court heard Vaughan had told an expert the sexual offences had arisen out of ‘curiosity and sexual excitement.’
Mr Justice Sweeney said ‘The author of the report concluded that you are a dangerous offender. The author goes on to make clear that given your vulnerability an immediate custodial sentence may increase your vulnerability.’
Vaughan admitted one count of encouraging terrorism and one of disseminating terrorist material. He also admitted 12 counts of possessing terror documents and two of having indecent images of a child.
Vaughan was sentenced to two years detention suspended for two years and ordered to complete 60 days rehabilitation.
He was also made subject to an accredited programme requirement and a prohibited activity requirement, a crime prevention order of five years and an extended notification requirement of 10 years.